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Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from this week:
35% Transfer Bonus From Amex to British Airways Avios: As a recap from earlier this week, American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 35% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios through June 7, 2013. While not quite as generous as recent transfer bonuses of 40% and even 50%, it beats the most recent transfer bonus of 30% from back in December – it seems like Amex and British Airways are trying to find a sweet spot for transfer bonuses. Remember, you can also transfer Amex points to anyone else. With this bonus, you’ll cut your redemption requirement by 26% and save some Amex points while still booking the award you want. Also keep in mind that Avios expire and will be removed from your account if you don’t earn, redeem, purchase or share at least one Avios every 36 months, so an Amex transfer is a good way to reset the expiration clock if you haven’t had any account activity in a while.
Registration Open For Starwood’s Double Take Promo: Starwood announced its summer Double Take Promo a few weeks ago, and registration is now open. From May 1 through July 31, 2013, you can earn double Starpoints on all eligible stays at over 1,000 properties as well as 500 bonus Starpoints for booking through the chain’s mobile site or app. Earn double Starpoints on all eligible stays (doubled points are base, not elite, so you get 4x base points plus any elite/credit card bonuses). Earn 500 additional bonus Starpoints for stays booked at through the spg.com mobile site, the SPG App for iPhone or the SPG App for Android. The double Starpoints will be based on stays from May 1 through July 31, 2013. Here’s a list of the non-participating properties (quite a lot) for this promotion. However, the booking bonuses are eligible for all Starwood hotels and resorts that participate in the SPG program, regardless of whether or not the hotel is participating in this promotion.
Best Western’s $50 Gift Card Promotion: Now through June 9, 2013, Best Western is running a promotion where after three separate stays, guests will earn a $50 Best Western Travel Card. This card will then be valid for stays through November 1, 2013 and can be used like cash at any of their properties. To take advantage of this offer, you must be a member of Best Western Rewards and register for this offer. In addition, members who use their Best Western Rewards MasterCard to pay for their stays during this time will receive 1,000 Best Western Rewards bonus points. Best Western Elite members will also be added into a drawing for one of five 250,000 bonus point awards.
300 Free Priority Club Points: Priority Club Rewards is running an easy survey with five questions about staying at their hotels. For completing the survey, members will be given 300 priority club points which will deposited into member’s account within 48 hours after the quiz is submitted. Priority Club Rewards are only allowed to receive the points once for taking this survey. While 300 miles isn’t going to get you close to an award stay, every point counts! As a reminder, Priority Club points never expire, so you might as well do this.
Earn Double AAdvantage Miles Flying Between New York And Houston: American is offering AAdvantage members double miles when they fly between New York (JFK) and Houston to celebrate the launch of this new nonstop route. To qualify, you must first register using promo code NYIAH. This bonus is valid for flights now through and June 30, 2013. This offer is good for AAdvantage members who purchase and fly on a published fare ticket on an American marketed and operated non-stop flight. The double miles will be calculated at 100% of the base miles flown and you must register before you fly.
Alitalia Launches Cash and Miles Awards: In contrast to airline cash and miles awards which are often a great way to wring even more value out of your points – such as on Avianca and British Airways – Alitalia has launched a new cash and miles award redemption option, but unfortunately it’s not a great value. Unlike other cash and points awards, with this one, you’re essentially buying back part of your ticket using miles at a rate of 25 EUR ($32.50) per 5,000 miles up to a total of 25% of the value of your ticket. It’s basically just a pay with points kind of scheme and you’re getting just 0.65 cents per mile in value and you can’t even pay off the whole ticket. I’d suggest staying away from this unless you’ve got a few spare Alitalia miles you know you won’t put to use any other way and want to take a few euros off the cost of a ticket.
United and US Airways Raise Change Fees: In a troubling sign of the times – and, I suspect, the start of a trend – United and then US Airways both raised their ticket change fees on paid domestic tickets from $150 to $200, driving the cost of flexibility even higher. In contrast, a few months ago American Airlines introduced its Choice Fares, which waive change fees (already saving you a ton of money if your plans are in flux) as well as same-day confirmed fees. This is just another reason I’ll be keeping my business with American, although hopefully once American and US Airways officially merge they will keep American’s fee structure instead of US Airways’, especially with this increase!